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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly brings history to life
If you liked The Suspicions of Mr Whicher you'll love this - it's an absolutely gripping story, with an amazing cast of characters, and Moore really brings the dark underside of the 19th century English countryside to life. It's well-researched and also brilliantly written, with as much tension in the build up to the most dramatic sections (no spoilers!) as in any...
Published on 28 Jun 2012 by Anna

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A big disapointment
very dry writing style..more a sociological treatise than a crime story.Good on points of law. No desire to read futre books by this author!!
Published 13 months ago by claire fitzpatrick


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly brings history to life, 28 Jun 2012
If you liked The Suspicions of Mr Whicher you'll love this - it's an absolutely gripping story, with an amazing cast of characters, and Moore really brings the dark underside of the 19th century English countryside to life. It's well-researched and also brilliantly written, with as much tension in the build up to the most dramatic sections (no spoilers!) as in any thriller. Thoroughly recommended!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting period brought beautifully to life, 28 Jun 2012
This is a superbly dark tale of murder and revenge, of superstition and tradition. It captures perfectly the sense of claustrophobia and fear that must come with living in a remote close knit farming community and making enemies of the wrong people.

The backdrop of revolutionary war in Europe and the terror of imminent invasion by Napoleon's armies, the horror of famine that greeted each crop failure - they all add to the drama. It's a great look at life in rural England just before the Victorians brought a bit of order to the place - and judging by the difficulties faced by poor Reverend Parker thank God they did! This is a thumping good read and full of great historical detail. Hugely enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read., 6 Aug 2012
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One of the most gripping books I have read recently, unfolding much more like a detective novel than a history book. A tremendous amount of research has gone into finding out what life was like in Oddingley in the years before and after Reverend Parker's murder as the authorities tried to discover what had happened to his murderer. I liked the section on oaths and swearing particularly and it was interesting to think about word magic with words like damn which don't seem at all harmful today. Surprised I have not heard about this story before but I'm glad I decided to read it after hearing a bit on Radio 4. Really well written and very much recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 28 July 2012
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Enjoyed this, was wonderful to see how the author brought the historical characters and the tiny village to life. The story reminded me of the bickering and grudges that we get in villages today. Favourite bit was the confession - but I don't want to spoil it by saying too much !!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spin-chillingly good holiday read, 28 July 2012
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This book was a great holiday read, really gripping stuff. I have read The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, and it's a similar dark tale of passions and undercurrents. A tremendous amount of research has been utilised which is incorporated seamlessly to tell a dark tale of death and conspiracy. It really immerses you in the period and, in fact, having read it once, I shall be re-reading it again in a few months to really appreciate the detail that's gone into telling this fascinating, spine-chilling tale.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Historical True Crime at its best!, 26 Aug 2014
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Have just finished, and thoroughly enjoyed this True Crime story of the early1800's. This is one of those books where, even though your eyes are blurring after many hours of reading, you just HAVE to read a few more! A really fascinating story.

Peter Moore has done superb research into this case and writes profusely of the many interesting, surprising and sometimes alarming facts surrounding this crime, illustrating clearly the class distinctive perceptions and the dreadful 'Tithe laws' still in place in the early 1800's. Not having the forensic knowledge that we use to its advantage today, this was a truly difficult and unproven case, although a confession towards the end of the book tends to suffice due to a lack of evidence. Peter Moore attempts to unravel the many small inconsistencies in this court case, mainly in an objective manner, but the reader must make his or her own mind up.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to all who are interested in the Georgian period, its law system, village lives and characters, and the regarded lowly place of women at this time. If you loved 'The Maul And The Pear Tree', 'The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher' or 'The Italian Boy', you'll be sure to thoroughly enjoy this book also.

Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read!, 29 July 2012
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ECJ (High Peak, UK) - See all my reviews
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Damn His Blood was read on BBC R4; I caught the first extract, so glad I decided to buy the book and not listen to the spoilers. First class research, beautifully written, a true thriller about an extraordinary story unfolding over 30 years two centuries ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb re-enactment but also a social history, 8 July 2013
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This review is from: Damn His Blood: Being a True and Detailed History of the Most Barbarous and Inhumane Murder at Oddingley and the Quick and Awful Retribution (Paperback)
Meticulously researched and compellingly written, probably the best historical crime book I have ever read. I was totally unaware of the Oddingley murders until I read the book. Although the main events happened over 200 years ago the author brings alive the settings and the characters as if it was all quite recent. But it is not just a murder story, it also tells us a lot about the beginning of the death of traditional rural England as the gradual transformation from an agricultural to an industrial society gathered pace.

The facts that the author has unearthed through research are incredibly detailed. Inevitably some conjecture is necessary but he provides cogent reasons. I rate this book more highly than the much lauded "Suspicions of Mr Witcher", the more so as the events occurred more than half a century earlier. It would make an excellent TV adaptation.

Perhaps the most poignant part is contained in the Epilogue. Some hundred years after the murder a memorial stone was erected at the spot in the glebe where the foul deed was committed. In 1940 it was moved a few yards as it was a hazard to tractors. There it stood until the M5 was constructed through the parish when it disappeared, probably for ever. So today thousands of vehicles a day pass through the place where the parson fell. Such is progress!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn good, 7 May 2013
This did a good job in sustaining interest in a small village over several decades. Most of the residents thought they knew who was behind the murder, but would they ever be bought to justice? I won't spoil it for possible readers, but along the way we find out much about social history and crime and punishment at this crucial time in British history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 25 Dec 2012
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This book as all the ingredients of a thriller novel, including a twist that you dont see coming. But novel it isn't, it is a well researched telling of an infamous (at the time) murder and its consequences. Though it flags a bit in the middle, presumably since in the internvening years some facts and/or evidence has been lost, and to be fair, the recording of such things were probably sketchy then anyway, its beggining and its end repay the reader. That said, Peter Moore has clearly done a lot of research since he pulls together not only what are probably all the facts that are, or can be known, but also paints a very detailed picture of the murder's context, what things were like in rural England of the early 1800s, the local geography, how its society worked, and its various strata. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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